Decisions Are Hard

Decisions drive the success of so many different things. In life. In business. A decision is often the thing that changes the trajectory – to failure or to higher levels of success.

But if you don’t actually MAKE A DECISION you’re likely just dithering and your project (and potentially company) are at major risk.

I am flown in to sit at the table for project that are in one of two states:

  • In Distress – projects that are slipping deadlines, spending too much, and generally off course.
  • “Can’t Fail” – projects that will make or break an organization.

In both cases the single most common problem that I see is that decisions aren’t being made. Often the team is “too smart” and simply too good at the pre-decision steps. They are incredible at:

  • Discovering – learning what the problem and problem-space really is.
  • Debating – consider alternatives usually as a team.
  • Designing – determining possible solutions.
  • Documenting – getting things down in words, diagrams, and other artifacts so others have a reference.
  • and some more D—ing (developing, discussing, dreaming)

The problem with these steps is that they can feed each other. Each of these steps is crucial and you may need to go through the steps more than once.

But when you keep looping and never reach a DECISION, you’re just DITHERING.

More in this video.

At it’s latin root, the word decision means to cut off or to kill. Perhaps that is why making decisions appears to be tough.

NOTE: This is “evergreen” content and I will keep updating as the model refines. I have been using decisions as a tool for over a decade but just recently came up with a repeated and coherent approach to apply it directly to high-performance teams. I’m adjusting some of the terms. Reach out below if you have ideas.


Also published on Medium.

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